If hearing, there’s only 5 more weeks till Christmas is raising your anxiety levels – here are 5 tips for creating calm and saving money this year
If hearing, there’s only 5 more weeks till Christmas is raising your anxiety levels – here’s 5 tips to create calm and save money this year.
Take a few minutes to reflect on what giving and receiving Christmas presents means to you. For example, does giving to others bring you joy, or do you do it out of obligation or guilt? Knowing your why for giving will help you with allocating how much money you want to spend.
Think about the people you buy for – what is their ‘Love Language, Dr Gary Chapman, (do they like receiving gifts, or would they value your time or acts of service more than a tangible present?).
There is still time to have truthful conversations with your family and friends about your feelings and philosophy on giving and receiving and how this time of year financially impacts you.
Before hitting the shops, review your finances and calculate what is a comfortable amount you can spend this year without putting yourself under financial pressure in December or January.
You can then keep a record of what you spend or use an ap like Christmas Budget Planner or create your own spreadsheet or paper list. Another strategy may be to take out your Christmas shopping as a cash withdrawal and keep it in an envelope – when it’s gone, its gone.
Here’s a few strategies to buy less presents this year:
(i) Adopt a “Secret Santa” in your family with a set $ limit, so you’re only buying one present rather than several for all your extended family or friends.
(ii) Participate in a ‘group gift’ with a few other people, so the recipient gets a higher value gift from a larger group of people. You can then all brainstorm on the ideal gift for them rather than making the purchasing decision on your own.
(iii) Employ a ‘5 present policy’ for kids:
create a fun tradition with your family that your children know and expect they’ll get 5 xmas gifts each year which meet a certain category, like:
(i) Something they want
(ii) Something practical they need
(iii) Something to read or learn from
(iv) Something to wear
(v) Something to eat
I tend to Christmas shop during the year around sale time if possible. If I know what gifts I want and I see them come on sale during the year, I’ll buy them and put away (store that strategy for next year..). There are also online stores that offer good discounts for new customers, so take advantage of these. If you need to post a gift interstate or overseas, you can purchase online and arrange the postage address to be theirs rather than yours. Black Friday/Cyber Monday is this week, can you make use of the sales over these 3 days to buy your gifts?
If spending money this year is going to be a strain, think of a talent or something you’re good at and create a ‘time or service voucher’ such as ‘3hrs of gardening’; a ‘back or head massage’ or make something that doesn’t cost much in terms of input other than your time.
My kids made some for me this Mother's Day and I totally loved the thought and effort they put into making them, as well as got some extra chores around the house done. Win. Win.
I’d like to leave you with this …
Money is as much emotional as it is financial. As we head towards the festive season, please be mindful of the decisions you make around your money.
Watch this video to learn more about how our brains are wired for financial decisions.
Your current financial position is the result of many factors. But a major influence in your financial life is your psychological relationship with money. We call this your ‘money story’.Read More
All good relationships need to be nurtured and have time and effort invested in them to grow and thrive. The same is true for your money. Love is an emotion we have access to, but it’s also something we can learn. This means that even if you don’t have the greatest relationship with your finances, you can choose to change it by practicing these 10 actions. Here’s my 10 ways to love and get closer with your money. Read More